Health union MSF has welcomed guidelines from the NHS Executive which support 'whistle blowing' as part of a drive against fraud.

The guidelines offer trusts an example fraud policy and response plan, and emphasise that victimising or deterring staff from reporting concerns is a 'disciplinary matter'.

Trust chief executives are asked to emphasise that there will be 'no recriminations' against members of staff 'who report reasonably held suspicions'.

Staff who do not want to talk to their managers are told they can get 'independent and confidential advice' from the charity Public Concern at Work.

MSF head of health Roger Kline said referring staff to an outside body for advice was 'a real change in culture'.

He added: 'We have long campaigned on behalf of our members. We welcome this move by the Executive - it is long overdue.'

Corporate Governance www.open.gov.uk.doh/coinh.htm